Kent Blackwelder, whose name might sound familiar-ish because he starred on Big Brother 2 (“Hero: Ronald Reagan”) yesterday tried convincing a Knoxville-area jury that the now-defunct publisher of adult gay magazine Freshmen should pay up for sending X-rated gay photos to his home, which were opened by his then-12-year-old daughter. He failed.
The civil suit against the California-based Specialty Publications Inc. — which no longer exists, and whose assets were bought up by Here/Regent Media during the acquisition of LPI Media — claims Blackwelder’s daughter Madison in May 2007 leafed through a mailer that contained a handful of photos of men in erotic poses, part of an offer for a free copy of Titan Men’s Fresh Farm on DVD with a new subscription to Freshmen. (Sounds like a deal!)
The cover of the envelope advertised a “free new DVD offer.” Madison told the court she thought it might be a free Disney DVD offer. It wasn’t: It was “a tri-folded brochure,” reports the Knoxville News Sentinel. “On its cover, it carried a warning label of sexually explicit material, her father’s name and address, and the name of the magazine and free DVD. The girl, now 16, said she didn’t notice the warning label.” Says Madison: “I didn’t want what I saw to let other kids see that.”
Indeed, Blackwelder — who was cast as BB‘s token conservative and was voted out halfway through the 2001 season — had wound up in the gay smut publisher’s address database. For reasons unknown, he insists! In his lawsuit, he says he did not specifically request any of Specialty’s material.
But that’s bogus, insists Specialty’s attorney Richard Hollow: “In 2005, Kent Blackwelder entered an online contest sponsored by the magazine known as ‘The Out Traveler,'” Hollow said. “This is a gay publication.” Blackwelder, who is married, denies entering the contest, which offered a trip for two to a gay-friendly locale. Maybe it happened this way:
Blackwelder conceded he buddied up with an openly gay “Big Brother” contestant during his stint on the show and later wound up clashing with his co-workers at a temporary employment agency. Blackwelder was fired and later filed suit, alleging that he, as a white man, was discriminated against by a black supervisor. Records show that the lawsuit was later dismissed by agreement. “They could have as a prank or act of vengeance entered the contest using his name and information,” Hollow said of Blackwelder’s co-workers.
So where did things end up? With the jury thinking the whole thing was bogus. The four-man, four-woman jury said Blackwelder’s claim has no merit, and decided in Specialty’s favor. Because parents should protect their kids from what shows up in the mail, not the people who send it.